REVIEW: Bridgewater Tavern

Tucked inside the entertainment wing of the JW Marriott Marquis, the Bridgewater Tavern is unashamedly a sports bar. The whole place is illuminated by wall-spanning TV screens showing NBA, football, rugby and tennis. Wood is fused with iron across the whole venue – from tables and chairs to ceilings and wall fittings – to give it the all-important industrial vibe. Bar stools pepper the outside of its central island as more sports screens loom down to the craned-necked clientele below. Yep, this is definitely a sports bar.

Fairly or not, sports bars aren’t known for their fine cuisine. Everything is usually deep-fried, smothered in salt and sent out with all the care and attention of a fast-food joint. But Bridgewater Tavern seeks to be different; with a heavy emphasis on the gastropub philosophy, the food is just as much a winner as the sports stars all around us.

To kick things off, we ordered a deliciously moreish black wasabi shrimp and the boneless chicken wings. The latter is served with a touch of theatre as our waiter rolls up to our table with a cart of sauces and a cocktail shaker. We were asked to pick two – we went with their firecracker sauce and a buffalo number – and the piping hot wings were thrown into the mixer with our selection and shaken up like a mocktail. Once served, we were given black surgical gloves to tuck into the messy results. They were unbelievably tasty.

For mains, we went with the crispy Southern fried chicken sandwich and Bridgewater Tavern’s signature black burger. Paired with the cracked pepper mayo, the crispy chicken sandwich was a delight – the milk bun melts on your tongue so that the flavours from the filling are introduced to your palate instantly.

The black burger takes its name from the brioche bun that holds the ground beef patty, cheese and veal bacon in place. You can tell the meat has been prepared lovingly as every bite spurs you on to consume more of its deliciousness.

To finish, we went with the Nutella donuts – warm, fluffy batter served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream – and the cake pops. These lollipopesque desserts came with chunks of white-chocolate-covered cheesecake, raspberry and chocolate coffee treats that were the perfect finish to the meal.

The dishes maybe served under the glare of a thousand sports, but the food at Bridgewater Tavern is the real champion.

Three dishes to try…

Boneless Chicken Wings
Not only the tastiest wings we’ve ever had, but the cocktail shaker show, where they mix the sauce and chicken, is a nice spectacle.

The Black Burger
The all black brioche bun hugs a perfectly seasoned slab of beef that melts on the tongue. We love the onion jam flourish.

Nutella Donuts
Topped with lashings of Nutella, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dusting of caramelised hazelnuts – a perfect end to your meal.

Bridgewater Tavern
JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay
Contact: +9714 414 0000,

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